China: Another Great Leap Forward? by Justin Jin

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50 year old Chen Hua moves out of a village accommodation for her new urban home in Liaocheng city in the northeastern Chinese province of Shangdong. Her former village house was bulldozed by the government three years ago to make way for high-rise development. In the four years between her rural home being razed and the completion of her new city apartment, she and her family lived in temporary village housing such as this one. The Chinese government plans to move 250 million rural residents into urban areas over the coming dozen years though it is unclear whether people want to move and where the money for this project will come from. Further urbanisation is meant to drive up consumption to counterbalance an export orientated economy and end subsistence farming but the drive to get people off the land is causing tens of thousands of protests each year. /Felix Features